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By Emily Greenhalgh
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – Exports from Rhode Island increased 7.4 percent in April, following a 19.9 percent decline in March from February’s record high, according to an international trade statistics report from e-forecasting.com.
Rhode Island’s exports increased month over month at a time when worldwide exports dropped. Global merchandise exports dropped 5 percent during the first quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter 2011.
The World Trade Organization showed that exports dropped 4.2 percent from March to April, but increased by 2.6 percent year-over-year from April 2011 to April 2012.
Statewide, exports from Rhode Island grew 7.4 percent in April over March. Rhode Island exporters sold $228.3 million in goods in April, adjusted for seasonal variation.
On a year-over-year basis, Rhode Island exports surpassed April 2011 numbers by $16.4 million, or 7.7 percent.
Foreign shipments from Rhode Island manufacturers accounted for 67 percent of all sales abroad in April, an increase of 5.1 percent from March to $153.3 million, seasonally adjusted.
Across the United States, merchandise exports fell 1.1 percent in April to $130.7 billion, seasonally adjusted. The drop in exports was led by declines in foreign sales of industrial supplies and capital goods, according to e-forecasting.com.
Year to date, exports from Rhode Island companies increased by an annual rate of 9.0 percent over the same 2011 period, compared with a 6.7 percent average growth across the U.S.
As a result, Rhode Island ranked 20th in export growth among the United States and was the most highly ranked New England state (Vermont came in at No. 21, Massachusetts at No. 31, Connecticut at No. 43, Maine at No. 49 and New Hampshire at No. 50).
“The latest forward-looking global indicators point to an upcoming recovery for state exporters,” according to e-forecasting.com chief economist Evangelos Otto Simos.
“The expectation of gains in worldwide trade translates to good news for Rhode Island’s exporters,” added Simos. “In the second half of 2012, orders from abroad, especially from emerging economies, are forecast to increase relative to current levels, which would improve production and continue to generate new export-related jobs in Little Rhody.”